The score wouldn't indicate any problems. Upper Dublin had few problems dispatching Abraham Lincoln, 31-0, in Friday's non-league game in Northeast Philadelphia.
The record looks pretty impressive as well, 3-0 after three games — for the first time since 2008 — and heading into the Suburban One American Conference portion of the schedule.
But Cardinals' coach Bret Stover wasn't exactly pleased with his troops Friday afternoon.
"It was a struggle early," he said. "I didn't think we were focused and ready to play. As a head coach, I'll take some of the responsibility for that, but I'm really charging my seniors to get the team ready to play. We weren't ready to play."
Upper Dublin was sluggish in the first quarter. The Cards wasted a 41-yard Trae Jackson kickoff return when Jackson fumbled on the second play of the game.
The Cardinals then marched to a first down at the Lincoln 8-yard line before stalling and having a field goal attempt come up short and wide right.
Upper Dublin was out of its rhythm. With no locker rooms, almost no one in the stands and with a 3 o'clock start, everything was out of whack.
"It's definitely a change going from 7 o'clock to playing at 3 o'clock," senior quarterback John Derr said. "It felt more like a jayvee game in my sophomore season, but that's something that we have to put aside and not let it get to us."
"I don't know if we took Lincoln lightly," Stover said, "but there's no excuse for it. We still have to play football. We didn't execute until midway through the second quarter."
Actually it was a little earlier. Tim Rasmussen picked off a Devon Thompkins pass at the Railsplitters' 26-yard line and returned it to the 17. Four plays later, Jackson scored on a 4-yard run to give the Cardinals all the points they ultimately needed.
Upper Dublin put together a 14-play, 57-yard drive eating up a huge chunk of the second quarter with John Lee getting the final yard for the touchdown with 3:13 to play before halftime.
After getting the ball back with 20 seconds left in the half, Mike D'Ambrosio booted a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the half to give the Cards a 17-0 advantage at intermission.
Upper Dublin was never threatened defensively and added a 15-yard Jackson touchdown in the third quarter and a 7-yard Ryan Stover-to-David Webster scoring pass in the fourth to seal the victory.
"Good teams do find a way to win and they did pull it together,' Stover said. "I give them credit for that. Defensively we had it under control and offensively we had stuff that was there, we just didn't execute. It was more of a mental thing than a physical thing."
With the 'preseason' portion of the schedule complete, the Cards won't have the luxury of slow starts in the future. Looming next week is crosstown rival Wissahickon and the beginning of the American Conference schedule.
"Technically, our first goal every year is the Suburban One American Conference," Stover said, "and we're getting into to it with a heck of an opponent. Wissahickon is a very good team, we totally respect them. They blew our doors off last year and won a playoff game.
"We're not going to take them lightly."
"This week is probably our biggest game, it's a rivalry," Derr said. "If we play like we did today, we're going to get smacked. We need to come out and practice 100 percent. We have to come out with a chip on our shoulders."
And that is something that would make the coach much happier.
Upper Dublin 7 10 7 7—31
Abraham Lincoln 0 0 0 0—0
UD: Jackson 4 run (D'Ambrosio kick)
UD: J. Lee 1 run (D'Ambrosio kick)
UD: D'Ambrosio 31 FG
UD: Jackson 15 run (D'Ambrosio kick)
UD: Webster 7 pass from Stover (D'Ambrosio kick)
First downs 13 5
Yards rushing 141 34
Yards passing 112 91
Total offense 253 125
Passing 19-11-0 19-9-2
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties 5-25 3-41
Punts 0-0.0 2-22.0
Upper Dublin: Jackson 10-71, 2TD; Derr 7-37; Gardner 2-19; K.Lee 1-12; J.Lee 7-11, TD; Bryant 2-1; Stover 1-(-10).
Abraham Lincoln: Thompkins 7-15; Strothers 8-14; Jones 1-12; Houser 1-4; Blakney 1-1; McClam 4-(-5); Callahan 1-(-7).
Upper Dublin: Derr 14-7-0—74; Stover 5-4-0—38, TD.
Abraham Lincoln: Thompkins 19-9-2—91.
Upper Dublin: Thompson 3-33; Conran 2-36; Siwinski 2-21; Jackson 1-8; Brody 1-7; Webster 1-7, TD; Scott 1-0.
Abraham Lincoln: Williams 7-75; Lesesane 1-10; Hayman 1-6.
Interceptions: Upper Dublin: Rasmussen, Merritt. Abraham Lincoln: none.
Sacks: Upper Dublin: Bailey 0.5, Rasmussen 0.5. Abraham Lincoln: none.